Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals has scooped the ‘Productive Series’ award for England, at the 2014 Lean Healthcare Awards. The award ceremony, hosted by the Lean Healthcare Academy on 6th February in Leeds, recognised hospitals across the country who have successfully implemented projects to improve patient care.

The Ashford and St Peter’s project, ‘A Trust-wide Approach to Releasing Time to Care’, focused on making simple ward processes, such as shift handovers, drug rounds and meal times, quicker and more efficient to free up time for nurses to directly care for patients. Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin said: “We are thrilled to have won the award, which recognises the hard work of staff and colleagues working in both our hospitals who have made meaningful improvements for our patients.”

“We have all heard about the paperwork and processes that can take up nurses’ time and whilst much of it is essential to provide good and safe patient care, there is always scope to do things differently or better. Releasing Time to Care is about those teams taking a step back and looking at current ward routines and using proven improvement methodology to consider how they could do things more efficiently so that they could spend more time with their patients. Overall, by the end of the project, we managed to ‘release’ 15 minutes of nurses’ time in every hour – which is a 25% improvement and a fantastic result.” This time has been used to improve the quality of care we give and is seen in our low mortality rates, low infection rates and positive patient feedback.

Project Manager Sally Greensmith added: “We took a trust-wide approach to our project, so all our wards worked through each of eight modules at the same time - sharing their ideas and successes along the way and introducing a healthy element of competition! For each module we offered a ‘Dream Team’ financial award for staff to spend on their ward areas and equipment. All of the ideas we put in place came from our nurses and healthcare assistants and it has been inspiring to see such motivation and dedication from our teams.”

In addition to Suzanne and Sally, a group of nurses heavily involved in the project attended the award ceremony. Sally added: “Throughout the day there was conference, where we hosted a display stand, participated in a workshop and also gave a presentation highlighting our achievements. This led into the awards dinner in the evening, where all the finalists were announced. With two other organisations in our award category it was a nerve racking time but when they called out our names as the winners, we all cheered and went up to collect the award with a real sense of excitement and pride. I would like to thank all of our Releasing Time to Care ward representatives, the project team and every member of staff who contributed to our success.”


The picture shows the RTTC awards team. Left to right; Karsten Alvar, Sister Holly Ward, Jefferson Tabalina, Charge Nurse Maple Ward, Suzanne Rankin Chief Nurse, Sally Greensmith Project Manager and NHS Clinical Leadership Fellow, Kathryn Wood, Clinical Nurse Lead, Medicine, Tricia Smith, CPE, Surgery, Sarah Hill, Ward Manager, Cedar Ward and Rizelda Ramirez, Ward Manager, Maple Ward